Energy Justice POINTs: Policies to Create a More Sustainable & Fairer Future for All

Rachel Bray, Rebecca Ford

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The transition to clean energy is one of the UK’s five priority areas for COP26. Alongside the potential benefits from creating green energy jobs, transition to a net-zero energy system offers the potential for delivering broader social, political, and economic benefits (Hamilton and Akbar, 2010; Hepburn et al., 2020; Roy et al., 2018; Sovacool et al., 2020). History shows us that socio-economic disruptions associated with transitions tend to amplify inequalities (Sovacool and Brisbois, 2019). It is likely that without intervention, these benefits, and the costs to deliver them, will not be evenly distributed across society, with negative impacts disproportionately affecting those in lower socio-economic and minority groups. Against this backdrop there has been increasing recognition for the need for Energy Justice – to deliver a socially inclusive and equitable net-zero transition (Abram et al., 2020). This growing awareness of the importance of energy justice has created the need for a framework or lens through which policy impact can be explored at the wider system level to help mitigate against unintended consequences. Energy Justice POINTs (Policy Overview and Impacts for Net-zero Transitions) provides a useful and usable framework to help decision makers explore the wide-reaching energy justice implications of their net-zero visions, strategies, and policies. It is based on four tenets of justice: * Distributional – where injustices lie * Recognition – who is affected * Procedural – how injustices can be overcome * Restorative – what we can do to ameliorate past injustices and mitigate against future injustices It also includes an additional four dimensions to take a whole-systems approach to a just transition which has been developed through a review of the literature. In this paper we outline the development of the Energy Justice POINTs framework, discuss how it can be used, and provide a worked example of how the framework could be applied to a specific project.
The framework has also been tested by several other organisations and we provide two case studies which are published here with the respective organisations permission. These case studies can be used as templates for other organisations to consider when developing their own energy related policies or projects. The CARES case study has been completed by the team at Local Energy Scotland who manage the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme. The Glasgow Community Energy case study has been completed by this community-owned renewable energy co-operative who have recently installed solar panels on the roofs of two schools in Glasgow.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9781909522855
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


  • energy justice
  • net-zero transition
  • clean energy
  • COP26
  • energy production


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